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  • Writer's pictureMarissa Aiuto

The Reason Why 98% of Diets Fail

I always share the statistic that 95-98% of the time, diets fail.

As in, if you go on a diet, you’re almost always going to regain all of the weight back, and usually more.

It’s shocking. It shocks me, I’m sure it shocks you, and yet… every year more than HALF of Americans are still dieting and attempting to lose weight.

It’s like that quote:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

Continuing on the diet cycle is the definition of insanity.

Even though we know “diets don’t work” and it’s PROVEN, people are still taking the blame, thinking they’re the problem.

I think all of these numbers and statistics lose their meaning, and don’t hold much weight (pun intended), especially when no one is explaining WHY it’s happening.

So, let me explain.

While there are many physiological reasons diets and the pursuit of weight loss statistically always fails, there’s actually a huge part of it that has to do with mindset and identity- which is why I like to focus on mindset/identity when coaching clients.

This is what will ACTUALLY help you create lasting change and how my my clients are able to ditch dieting and find a sustainable way to eat, live AND love their bodies.

A lot of people think, if I just lost the weight, then I’ll *finally* be happy, and then I’d be able to ____ (start dating, fall in love, pursue my career dreams… whatever it is).

But, losing weight isn’t the change you need or the answer to finding happiness, it’s changing your mindset and identity around food, and in your body.

A good way to understand this is looking at lottery winners.

A lot of people think “if I just won the lottery, I’d be happy”.

But, more than 70% of people who win the lottery end up bankrupt within a few years!

Most people, lottery winners included, identify as someone who will never have a lot of money. But then, they win the lottery, they have a lot of money, and somehow lose it all. Why does this happen? Their situation changed, but their mindset and identity didn’t.

The lottery winners don’t know how to manage the money that they won because they never shifted their identity as someone who could have a lot of money.

The same thing happens with people who have weight loss surgeries. More than half of people who have weight loss surgery regain all of the weight within a couple of years! Again, this has so much to do with mindset and identity.

That’s why diets and pursuing weight loss doesn’t work 98% of the time.

That’s why, instead of focusing on weight loss, restrictive meal plans, and intensive exercise regimens with clients, I take a different approach.

I help clients work on shifting their mindset and identity, because this is what actually works to create lasting, sustainable changes (or, ya know, if you want to keep those lottery winnings).

For example, when we first start working together, many of my clients identify as: “lazy”, “fat”, “sedentary”, “unhealthy”.

When a client identifies as any of these, especially “unhealthy”, it’s usually because of the shame they have around their eating habits or what their body looks like, their weight.

With an “unhealthy” identity, clients are stuck in a pattern of doing actions that would support this identity like eating less nutritious things-that don’t make them feel good, feeling unmotivated to exercise or using exercise as punishment, and continuing on a downward spiral, feeling worse and worse and worse.

They feel trapped in a negative relationship with food, movement, and in their bodies - because that’s what an “unhealthy” person would do.

Thoughts around food are all-consuming, like: “what foods will make me lose weight?”, followed by feeling disappointed and ashamed when they ate the “wrong” thing, the thing that didn’t check off the diet box, the food that is “bad” for them- and therefore makes them feel like they are “bad” and “wrong”.

Does this sound familiar?

If you hold onto this mindset and identity, you can never move forward. You’ll always feel stuck, unmotivated, and "unhealthy".

Every time you jump into another diet/weight loss plan - you’ll end up gaining the weight back, feeling disappointed in yourself, and having an even worse relationship with food and your body - just like the lottery winner who goes bankrupt and lost all her winnings.

I work with my clients on shifting their mindset and identity, to lose that old “diet” “weight loss”-centric, “unhealthy” identity, so they can start letting go of all the judgment they place around food and their bodies. The focus is less about weight and more about feeling.

How do you want to FEEL?

“I want to feel strong”

“I want to feel energized”

"I want to feel fit"

“I want to feel joyful”

“I want to feel confident”

“I want to feel healthy”

Once clients readjust their identity to: “strong”, "fit", “energized”, “joyful”, “confident, “HEALTHY”, they’re more likely to do actions that support this new identity.

A new identity means >> new actions which = new results!!

Thoughts around food go from “what foods will make me lose weight?” to “what foods will make me feel (strong, energized, joyful, confident, healthy)?”

My clients finally find food and body freedom - meaning they can enjoy nutritious foods (like vegetables and other plants) and use them as fuel to feel good, but they can also stop feeling guilty when they eat ice cream - because they know the “less nutritious” foods fuel their joy, and actually identify as someone who loves their body!

When my client’s shift their mindset and their focus away from their weight and what their bodies look like and towards what their body feels like - they find the brain space and the energy to enjoy their lives more confidently and freely.

My clients can finally go on that date, ask for that raise, find a new job they’re passionate about, and fall in love with THEMSELVES!

Instead of avoiding a fun day at the beach with friends because of fears of what their body will look like in a bathing suit, they can show up and enjoy those precious moments in the sun, laughing with the people they love.

I want to help YOU shift your mindset, and finally claim your joyful, confident, energized, positive, and HEALTHY identity, too - so you can FEEL good and comfortable around food and in your body!

Join me for a free 30-minute assessment call where we can get clear on the first step you can take to start shifting your identity and mindset, so you can finally access food and body freedom and stop dieting (for good) and start eating real food again AND feel good in a bathing suit this summer!

Book your free call here.

Be Well,


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